Image description Office of Nutrition & Fitness Newsletter
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Image description Image description January 2012
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ShapingNJ Welcomes New Partners

  • Fitly Inc.
    Fitly is a start-up technology company that will produce products, games and challenges to help families plan, purchase, and prepare healthy meals while having fun.

  • P3Nutritionals, LLC
    P3 Nutritionals provides medical nutrition therapy, including counseling and education, to help individuals achieve their health goals.

  • Women’s Fund of New Jersey
    The Women’s Fund of New Jersey is a philanthropic organization that seeks to advance economic security and social justice for women and girls in New Jersey.

  • Hunterdon County YMCA
    The Hunterdon County YMCA is a community service organization that provides programs to county residents to foster spiritual, mental, and physical growth.

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    Note from the Director:
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    I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and a chance to rejuvenate. January promises to be a busy month, with great momentum as we enter the new year. Our focus is on sustainability, also known as the "S word" - and we have begun planning for the transition as federal dollars wind down over the next 18 months.

    Since our last newsletter I am pleased to share that we have a new Deputy Commissioner, Arturo Brito, MD, MPH. Dr. Brito is a pediatrician with a public health background, and he joined the Department after having served as the Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President of the Children's Health Fund in New York City, a national nonprofit organization serving and advocating for medically underserved children. We welcome him to NJ and look forward to working under his leadership.

    I am also pleased to share in this month's newsletter something that I found quite interesting and hope you will as well:  NJ Department of Human Services Commissioner, Jennifer Velez, took the challenge offered by the Community Food Bank of NJ, a ShapingNJ partner, to live on the average food stamp allocation of $31.50 for one week.  See below for Commissioner Velez's blog as she describes her experience each day.

    Finally, you will read below, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center was recognized with an award for the 3rd year in a row for their work - this year for Community Outreach. In a recent email to Stacy McCormack, our Environmental Specialist and Lorraine Gibbons at Garden State Urban Farms, Barbara Mintz from Newark Beth Israel wrote:  "Thank you so much for your partnership! I treasure you guys!" I loved seeing that, and just want to say on behalf of the entire office, we treasure you too!  Keep the success stories coming - we love to share good news and promising practices.

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    Office of Nutrition and Fitness and ShapingNJ News:
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    Communities Putting Prevention to Work: State and Territorial Initiative:

    Child Care
    The proposed regulatory changes are currently being reviewed by DCF and will then move to the Governor's Office for further review. To expedite the process, the New Jersey Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies drafted a letter of support that encourages DCF to review and move through the process in a timely fashion. Many thanks to the five ShapingNJ partners that already sent letters to DCF.

    Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative
    We are excited to report that Baby-Friendly USA conducted an inspection of one of our grantee hospitals - the first hospital in our project - in mid-December. We are anxiously awaiting the results of the inspection to see if New Jersey will have its first Baby-Friendly Hospital!

    The end-of-program Hospital Leadership Summit, Teaming Up to Shape our Region: A Pathway to Baby-Friendly, was held December 1, 2011. Teams attended from 40 of the 52 New Jersey delivery hospitals with a total of 140 in attendance. Speakers included:

    • Laurence Grummer-Strawn, PhD, MPA, MA, Chief of the Nutrition Branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    • Mary O'Dowd, MPH, NJ Department of Health and Senior Services Commissioner 
    • Health officials and hospital staff from similar projects in Philadelphia, New York City and Connecticut
    • Hospital staff and project leads at New Jersey grantee hospitals

      

     

    Local Health Environmental and Policy Change
    Our community pilot project with NJ communities continues with monthly technical assistance calls and evaluation efforts. Two communities involved in this project, funded through Partners for Health, are also reporting successes:

    • Nutley implemented a Fit Kids program in schools, with 200 children and families participating. Through their Nutley Walks project, they added signs to several paths through the local park.
    • Montclair implemented a Stairwell Initiative in the Municipal Building to encourage employees to take the stairs instead of the elevator.

    NJ Council on Physical Fitness and Sport Funds ShapingNJ School Strategies
    The NJ Council on Physical Fitness and Sports has committed to directing the 2012 annual funding to the purchase and placement of salad bars and FitnessGram© programs in schools. Salad bars and FitnessGram© programs will be placed in partnership with the NJ Coordinated School Health Project. Training for FitnessGram© will be offered through the NJ Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

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    ShapingNJ Partner News:
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    Sustainable Jersey Awards Hoboken for Complete Streets Policy
    Sustainable Jersey awarded Hoboken a Leadership Award for their adoption of a Complete Streets policy that makes roadways more convenient for all users. Hoboken also held a Complete Streets Awareness event that helped community stakeholders learn more about creating safer, better streets.

    New Jersey Department of Transportation Promotes Complete Streets
    NJ Department of Transportation Commissioner James Simpson wrote an editorial discussing the DOT's own Complete Streets policy and its efforts to encourage municipalities to adopt similar measures.

    Newark Beth Israel Medical Center wins the American Hospital Association Award for Community Outreach
    ShapingNJ
    partner Newark Beth Israel Medical Center received the Health Research & Educational Trust of New Jersey's Community Outreach Award for their partnership with Garden State Urban Farms to develop a year- round farmers market, with produce locally sourced from a hydroponic farm and a new farm on a hospital-owned empty lot.

    NJ Department of Human Services Commissioner Takes on Community Food Bank of New Jersey's Challenge
    The Community Food Bank of New Jersey issued a challenge to New Jersey residents, asking them to "live on the average food stamp budget for one week ($31.50) and share their experience." Jennifer Velez, Esq., Commissioner of the Department of Human Services, took the challenge, and shared her experience via blog.

    Update: Congratulations to Get Moving Get Healthy NJ!
    In October, we reported that the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) awarded the Get Moving Get Healthy NJ program at Rutgers University a Partnership Award for Innovative Program Model. Kathleen Morgan, DMH, DTR, Chair of the Department of Family and Community Health Sciences at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey accepted the award and we are happy to share a photo! 

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    New Jersey News:
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    NJ Ranked 11th Healthiest State; 12th for Obesity
    America's Health Rankings, an annual state ranking system produced by the United Health Foundation, the American Public Health Foundation, and the Partnership for Prevention, ranked New Jersey 11th in overall health (17th in 2010 to 11th in 2011), and 12th for obesity (8th in 2010 to 12th in 2011). 

    The High Cost of Public Healthcare in New Jersey
    The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently released a report revealing that New Jersey public healthcare spending was among the highest in the nation in 2009.

    More Cash Coming to Help Eliminate New Jersey's Food Deserts 

    The Fresh Grocer to Open 5 Locations

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    National News:
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    Obesity Rates in New York City K-8 Students Decline
    A recent report reveals promising news: over a period of four years, obesity rates among New York City public school children ages 5 through 14 years decreased 5.5 percent. Decreases were seen across all socio-economic status, racial/ethnic, and age groups.

    Safe Streets Measure Included in U.S. Senate Transportation Authorization Bill
    The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation passed a federal transportation authorization bill that includes a measure that requires the safe accommodation for all users in federally-funded street projects. The safety measure modifies the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Enhancement Act (S. 1950).

    U.S. Senate and House of Representatives Introduce Legislation for Healthy Food Financing
    A bipartisan coalition in the House and Senate introduced bills (S. 1926, H.R. 3525) that will invest $125 million to reduce the number of low‐income Americans living in areas with inadequate access to healthy food. The reintroduction of this legislation will establish a Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

    U.S. High School Students Not Meeting Fruit and Vegetable Recommendations
    Results from the 2010 National Youth Physical Activity and Nutrition Study (NYPANS) suggest that the majority of high schools are not meeting current dietary recommendations.  Students consumed fruits and vegetables a median of 1.2 times for both fruits and vegetables a day. In addition, 28.5% of students ate fruit less than once daily, and 33.2% of students ate vegetables less than once daily.

    Medicare Adds Free Obesity Screening and Counseling to Preventative Services

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    Events:
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    January 11, 2012
    Spotlight on Childhood Obesity and Wellness Conference
    9am-2:30pm
    George Street Playhouse
    New Brunswick, NJ
    ShapingNJ partner, George Street Playhouse, is hosting this free event to explore strategies to prevent and control childhood obesity and chronic diseases. The conference will include the premier of Austin the Unstoppable, a health and wellness musical comedy.

    January 11, 2012
    New Jersey's Obesity Epidemic: The Role of the Health Care Professional 
    9am-1pm
    UMDNJ, New Jersey Dental School Oral Health Pavilion
    Newark, NJ
    Sponsored by the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey's President's Lecture Series, this event will discuss the social determinants of obesity, community resources to fight obesity, the benefits of workplace wellness programs, and weight management options.

    February 24-25, 2012
    It Takes a Village: Collaborations in Good Food and School Garden Education
    Atlantic Cape Community College
    Mays Landing, NJ
    The New Jersey Farm to School Network in collaboration with The AtlantiCare Foundation will be hosting this statewide conference. Topics include value added food in school, results of the NJ Farm to School survey, campus kitchens, and school garden program collaborations. Tickets for the conference are $40 for both days, $25 for one day, or $10 per day for students. Click here to register.

    March 9, 2012
    New Jersey Future Redevelopment Forum

    8:00am-4:00pm
    Hyatt Hotel and Conference Center
    New Brunswick, NJ

    ShapingNJ is pleased to be a partner of New Jersey Future's annual Redevelopment Forum. The forum is a one-day educational symposium about ways to preserve our open land by focusing the state's growth in areas already served by roads, municipal services, schools, transit and employment. Register here by February 21, 2012 for the best rates.

    March 23, 2012
    4th Leaders' Academy for Healthy Community Development
    8:00am-1:00pm
    Robert Wood Johnson Hamilton Center for Health & Wellness
    Mercerville, NJ
    The New Jersey Council on Physical Fitness and Sports and the Office of Nutrition & Fitness, Department of Health & Senior Services invite community collaboration teams representing the health department, policy makers, local champions, citizens and other stakeholders to a skill building workshop.  Following the Academy, teams will have an opportunity to apply for competitive mini grant funding to implement evidence based healthy community food or physical activity initiatives.

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    Image description This newsletter is produced by the Office of Nutrition and Fitness
    PO Box 364, Trenton, NJ, (p) 609-292-2209, (f) 609-292-9599
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    P. O. Box 360, Trenton, NJ 08625-0360
    Phone: (609) 292-7837
    Toll-free in NJ: 1-800-367-6543
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